Quantcast

Looming Mental Health Crisis in Oklahoma - KOAM TV 7

Looming Mental Health Crisis in Oklahoma

Updated:

Oklahoma has a 215 million dollar hole in its budget, and if it doesn't find a solution soon, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will have to make severe cuts to the tune of around 70 million dollars.

Last Wednesday, a funding bill aimed at relieving the state's budget gap failed on the Oklahoma House floor. Charles Danley, the CEO of Grand Lake Mental Health Services, isn't happy with what he's seen from Sooner lawmakers.

"I've been at the capitol more this year than I ever have been in my 25 years with the agency. Everyone saw the seriousness of this dilemma and the funding that was needed, and I was just appalled by some of the statements made by our Oklahoma legislators," said Danley.

He feels some representatives don't take mental health issues seriously.

"The ones that were critical about any services being provided, (saying) that people could just get a grip, were just really, really horrible," said Danley.

Danley says the Grand Lake Mental Health Centers are taking a "wait and see approach" to the funding issue before they make any changes.

James Walls is a youth therapist who works in Grove, Oklahoma. He shares many of Mr. Danley's concerns, and says his patients do as well.

"We've had a significant increase of calls coming in from patients being worried about what's going to happen come December 1st, or whenever funding's going to be cut," said Walls.

Both of these mental health professionals say they're optimistic a solution will be found before the deadline, but they wish they were getting more information from the capital.

The Oklahoma Legislature will reconvene on Monday to again try to come up with a budget solution, before deep budget cuts kick in December 1st. 

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Fish Hatchery Upgrade in Neosho

    Fish Hatchery Upgrade in Neosho

    Friday, November 17 2017 11:04 PM EST2017-11-18 04:04:08 GMT

    The pond construction project at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is scheduled to wrap up before Thanksgiving. And according to the hatchery's manager, it's been a long time coming! 

    More >>

    The pond construction project at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is scheduled to wrap up before Thanksgiving. And according to the hatchery's manager, it's been a long time coming! 

    More >>
  • Wyandotte Tribal and Municipal Police Run Their First Ever "Turkey Stop"

    Wyandotte Tribal and Municipal Police Run Their First Ever "Turkey Stop"

    Friday, November 17 2017 8:38 PM EST2017-11-18 01:38:32 GMT

    When you see a cop car with it's sirens running behind you, it usually makes a driver feel pretty nervous. Just like Brittni.  "I was so nervous, I didn't know what I did wrong. I was just driving around, trying to get the baby to sleep..and I was like oh no!" says Brittni Arnold. "I thought I did something wrong, haha" says Mary Roberts. "I thought i was going to get a ticket or something, not a turkey" says M...

    More >>

    When you see a cop car with it's sirens running behind you, it usually makes a driver feel pretty nervous. Just like Brittni.  "I was so nervous, I didn't know what I did wrong. I was just driving around, trying to get the baby to sleep..and I was like oh no!" says Brittni Arnold. "I thought I did something wrong, haha" says Mary Roberts. "I thought i was going to get a ticket or something, not a turkey" says M...

    More >>
  • Suspect Back in Jail After "Daring" Walk Out of Hospital

    Suspect Back in Jail After "Daring" Walk Out of Hospital

    Friday, November 17 2017 6:53 PM EST2017-11-17 23:53:42 GMT

    Deputies did not expect Dacoda Johnson to defy the odds.

    More >>

    Deputies did not expect Dacoda Johnson to defy the odds.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.